NEWPORT BEACH – Lake Forest City Councilman Peter Herzog pleaded no contest today to a misdemeanor drunken driving charge and was placed on three years informal probation.
Prosecutors dismissed another misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence against Herzog, who is also an attorney. As part of his sentence, he must complete a three-month first-offender alcohol program.
“It was a very common, standard first-offender deal,” Herzog’s attorney, Edward Stopyro, said. “It’s pretty much what everyone gets for a first-offense DUI.”
Herzog, 57, issued a statement saying he was taking responsibility for his actions.
“When you make a mistake, as I have done, you face up to it, without excuses, do what is necessary to address it, and move on in a positive fashion,” he said. “I would like to thank my friends, family, and all the poeple who have sent me kind words of support these past months. I have done everything possible to make amends for my error and, in moving forward, I will strive to be a force for good in this community and will continue to provide the people of Lake Forest the same dedication and thoughtful representation as I have for the past 18 years. I hope many learn from my mistake and to those I have disappointed, while I do not ask you to forgive me, I hope you can see how I have worked to take full responsibility and accountability for my actions.”
Herzog, who was charged Jan. 24, was arrested at home Nov. 17 after motorists called sheriff’s deputies to report he had been driving erratically, according to Farrah Emami of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
About 8:15 that night, Herzog made a left turn from Portola Parkway to Lake Forest Drive on the wrong side of the road, Emami said. He then swerved over the center median to get back onto the westbound lanes.
Herzog made a too-wide left turn from Lake Forest Drive to Regency Lane, hitting the right side of the curb in the process, according to the District Attorney’s Office. He veered into the opposite lane and weaved back and forth until he got home.
Investigators measured Herzog’s blood-alcohol level as .18 percent, more than twice the legal limit, as of 10:30 p.m. the night he was arrested, according to prosecutors.